North America’s need for charging infrastructure has only continued to rise over the years. In 2022, the U.S. expanded its public EV charger network by approximately 84%, while the Canadian government grew its public EV charging network by 30%.
But charging infrastructure within the continent still has a long way to go. Nearly one in ten Americans live more than six miles away from a public charging station, and bringing this number down to zero will require over 5,000 new stations.
This article discusses the different types of charging infrastructure that are essential to electric vehicle growth (EV growth), particularly as they apply to city and state governments.
Types of charging infrastructure used in North America
The United States and Canada have access to some of the world’s most effective EV charging equipment. Each provides a certain level of support for EVs, though advanced designs provide higher voltage and therefore, faster charging power for compatible models.
There are three different types of charging stations to consider:
- Level 1 charging station: This offers a moderate amount of charge for vehicles powered by conventional fuel and a battery charge. Plug-in hybrids are typically the most effective fit for this use case, especially since charging a vehicle to full can take a long time. The generalized features include:
- Five miles per hour of charge
- Good for plug-in hybrids
- 110 volts
- Level 2 charging station: This provides much faster charging speeds for vehicles running on 100% electricity. Despite the higher price point, the system can support hundreds of vehicles per day and is a great middle-of-the-road option for public fleets. You can get:
- 13 to 25 miles per hour of charge
- Good for battery EVs
- 240 volts
- Level 3 charging station: This state-of-the-art station can accommodate EVs of almost any size. It offers superior charging speeds and is extremely adaptable to different plug-in types. Just keep in mind that the higher price point reflects greater usability. The summarized benefits are:
- Full charge in 10 to 30 minutes
- Good for most battery EVs
- 340 volts
Complementary charging infrastructure for EV growth
EV stations are not the only type of charging infrastructure necessary for EV growth. Cities and states also need to consider alternative platforms, tools, and equipment.
Commodities for charging stations
Not all charging stations are built alike. Many come with unique add-on features that can be customized to meet the needs of your population.
For example, you could acquire charging stations with:
- Added portability, so you can move them as necessary
- Additional amperage, so you can improve charging speeds
- Wi-Fi capability, so users have something to do while they wait
The goal is to assess your specific needs to create effective charging infrastructure right from the beginning.
Alternative charging plugs
Charging stations don’t always come with the ports needed for every EV. You may want public fleet vehicles to charge even faster or need to adapt the infrastructure to a particular vehicle type.
A few of the most common types of alternative charging plugs include:
- SAE J3068
- Extreme fast chargers (XFC)
- Inductive charging
You may need to locate vendors or technicians to install your alternative plugs. You can also purchase aftermarket adaptors to accommodate your charging environment.
Telematics is primarily useful for fleet managers and drivers. You can acquire specific tools to improve your growing EV fleet, including:
- In-cab video tools to monitor driver behavior
- Maintenance platforms to schedule visits or set reminders
- Inventory tracking systems to keep an eye on makes and models
You can rely on Sourcewell to find vehicle tracking software within your needs and budget.
Maintenance and support
Many EV charging stations require ongoing support and upgrades to function correctly. Your options include:
- Service upgrades from your installation company
- Reliability as a service (RaaS) from outsourced companies
- Trained staff members on payroll to provide regular service
You may want to speak with a professional EV consultant about maintenance and support for your growing charging environment.
Using Sourcewell to acquire municipal charging infrastructure
It’s not possible to accommodate EV growth without the help of essential charging infrastructure. Fortunately, you can rely on a government partner like Sourcewell to find competitively solicited contractors within your realm of interest.
Sourcewell’s cooperative contracts and strategic partnerships accommodate the simple, quick, and sustainable sourcing of charging infrastructure. It serves government entities all over North America, helping organizations of all sizes locate:
- Charging stations
- Monitoring software
Its value-added benefits make it easy to acquire assistance at any stage of EV growth.
Sourcewell awards contracts in electric vehicle supply equipment. These contracts assure that government entities can take the first step in creating the infrastructure to support green initiatives. See how Sourcewell can save you time and money while getting the fleet equipment that you need already on contract.